14 Nov, 2020 @ 10:00
1 min read

OPINION: With so many unanswered questions, can we trust the ‘breakthrough’ COVID-19 vaccine?


CORONAVIRUS has brought so many new and difficult choices into people’s lives, and for me, there is now another one.

With the news that a 90% effective vaccine will be available next year, one may be surprised that I am weighing up if I will even opt to take it.

According to the New York Times, important scientific announcements about vaccines are usually made through peer-reviewed medical research papers that have undergone extensive scrutiny, and not through company press releases like Pfizer’s breakthrough announcement.

Although the news is a cause for celebration for many, there are also several unanswered questions about the vaccine’s efficacy. 

Pfizer has not yet disclosed what percentage of its trial volunteers were characterised as ‘high risk’. One would think this would be fundamental to know considering the number of vulnerable lives lost through COVID-19.

They have also failed to indicate how long its protection will last as well as how often people might need a booster.

No serious side effects are yet to be revealed, but former director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Walt Orenstein, predicts that immune enhancement could be one result.

This is a severe illness brought on by a virus’ interaction with immune particles in those that have been vaccinated.

I am immensely hopeful for a ‘better’ 2021, but with the very few published details and worrying caveats, my celebration is tamed for now.

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